So it’s that time again when are super proud to introduce our new intern, so come on down Catherine Gaffney. We were once again bowled over by the quality of applicants and as ever it was a really tough decision but we are stoked that Catherine has joined up for the next ten weeks. Born in Canada, brought up in Limerick, educated in Dublin (and Santa Barbara) and now living it up here in London, we wanted to get to know her a little better. She likes granola, can’t surf and doesn’t want to be in Inception amongst other things…
How do you explain what you do to your parents?
That I’m writing about art, pulling pints, having fun and making and illustrating stuff from time to time. I think they’re often a bit bemused and hope I’m actually going somewhere with all this, but seem fairly happy all the same.
Who do you look like?
Ummmm… not sure. Regina Spektor, I’ve occasionally been told.
Did your education count?
Definitely. I studied History of Art & Architecture and English Literature, so I got to read lots, had classes in galleries, and got to go off to Rome where we’d traipse around churches and occasionally end up in secret Irish pubs. I also did an Education Abroad year at the University of California Santa Barbara, which basically was the kind of place that felt made-up; palm trees, cycling, Pacific Ocean, and surfing after class (I’m still rubbish).
I got to take Art Studio classes there as well, which was great. My final year concentrated solely on Art History, but I missed the practical side of things so much that I proceeded to do the Foundation at Central Saint Martins – I specialised in Graphic Design because I loved the wordplay and layout concerns, and you got to learn how to make books. But I think the main thing I liked to maintain throughout my education was independence of thought, or at least being able to look at and respond to all lessons and texts and images in an enthusiastic but reasonably critical way.
What’s the best mistake you have ever made?
During my last year at school, you had to make your “top-ten” of chosen university courses for the following year – one day I was revising mine, and thought, “hmm I’m not sure if I actually want to do Art History and English, I’ll delete it from the list”, and promptly forgot to do so. Good thing I did, because the other combinations that would have remained (such as Spanish and economics) would have been a different experience completely!
When did you realise that this is what you were good at?
Well, I’ve always loved to read and make stuff – I wrote, illustrated, and stapled together a “novel” about my pet dog when I was seven, using only a brown Crayola marker. And I remember in primary school I wrote a story from the perspective of a chocolate Easter Egg – from plastic factory mould to consumption – which went down pretty well.
What rules do you live by?
Usually I try to view things from the perspective of other people, to work hard, and to treat others as I’d like to be treated. I also think it’s important to be free-thinking and to make sure that others are being looked after. And to try not to worry too much.
What makes your day?
Bright sunshine, a pretty sky, excellent conversation, and good granola.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A spy for a while. And I used to build multi-storey houses out of cardboard with never-ending extensions, so perhaps an architect, and once my sister and I set up an editorial office in our cupboard where we illustrated and published comics about ghosts. So perhaps all of those add up to being one of those people from Inception…But that’d be a bit dangerous and a probably a tad unethical, so definitely not now!
What one thing would you like to be remembered by/for?
Doing or making something awesome. Failing that, motivating people to do the same.
What’s your favourite combination?
Seawater, waves, sunlight, chocolate, and tea.
What’s the funniest thing you have EVER seen?
Two days before I went to study abroad, one of my best friends (who was about to set off to Italy) threw a big Cluedo party where everyone dressed up as the characters – the photos of my friends’ Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum outfits still make me laugh out loud, as do the later more disheveled photographs of us all drinking port in a field; we all have fairly dramatic moustaches (mine is green and twirly).